Friday, December 30, 2016

7 Quick Takes Friday: Christmas Octave

1. Crafting

The children have been doing various arts and crafts all week. Joseph and Thomas received some My First Paint with Water books, which the other kids are also attracted to, so they've all been completing those.

Mary requested and received for Christmas some model kits (log cabin, teepee, wagon), so she has been learning how to assemble and paint those.

2. Pottery Studio

My dad gave the children gift certificates for Dish It Out pottery studio, so we spent some time there painting a Humvee, a regular horse, and a pegasus. They were all so quietly focused!

3. Grandma's Shoe Collection

During the Christmas octave, purposefully away from the overwhelming nature of Christmas Day, we opened Grandma Kovach's collectible shoe collection, which an aunt has passed down to my girls.

There are 32 little decorative shoes in the collection, mostly ceramic and porcelain, which are just perfect to fascinate and spark the imagination of little girls. This is a precious gift!

4. New Books

We've all been delving into books, gifts from recent birthdays and Christmas. Below are some highlights so far:

  • "Zero the Hero" is a math book about the number zero . . . and my children ages three to ten love it so much that it has been read three or four times daily throughout the week. It is so popular, I can't get over it.
  • "Billy and Blaze" series: My almost-four-year-old son was given several of these charming, wholesome books written in the 1950s about a boy and his pony. The pencil drawings are beautiful.
  • Mary (8) received book two and the prequel to "The Green Ember" series, so she has been engrossed.
  • John (10) is so happy to be reading more adventures of Alvin Fernald.
  • I've been reading for several weeks the dark "Against All Hope: The Prison Memoires of Armando Valladares". If this isn't a book to make you appreciate all your luxuries and bounty at Christmas (or any other time of year), I don't know what is. This is a worthwhile read during a time when some are trying to look back on Fidel Castro's life with rose-colored glasses.
  • I'm also consuming "Keeping Our Children's Hearts" by the Maxwells.

5. Thomas

This is what happens when Mama doesn't get Thomas (17 months) his cereal and milk fast enough upon waking. When you're a Lauer kid, you just climb anything until you get what you want.

Thomas is a real challenge right now. In the last month, he learned how to climb out of his crib, so I could no longer lay him down for nap and walk away (which he loved! he didn't even cry!).

I bought him a Halo sleep sack designed to stop babies from climbing: Halo hadn't met a Lauer baby, apparently, because Thomas simply climbs anyway.

Then Thomas learned how to open door knobs.

It has been a week since I've been putting Thomas down for naps or bedtime myself. Even though he is still an avid nurser, he simply won't nurse to sleep anymore, either in the rocking chair or with my lying next to him on a bed. Chris has been rocking him to sleep for me.

I truly don't know what we're going to do next week when Chris goes back to work, and I'm left with a fatigue-ridden, screaming baby whom I can't get to sleep and whom I can't leave alone safely.

6. New Bedrooms

This really deserves its own blog post, and maybe it will get one when I have final pictures of bedrooms.

It all started when we purchased a bunk bed for the boys, knowing that there are three boys and Thomas will be in the boys' room within six months. As we sat to build the bunk bed, we realized it wouldn't fit in the tiny boys' bedroom, so we decided while sitting on the carpet surrounded by boxes that it was time to execute the plan we'd talked about for a year: switching around three bedrooms.

And that is how it came to be that quite spontaneously we switched three bedrooms in one day:

  • the Old Guest Room and Sewing Room became the New Girls' Room and Sewing Room
  • the Old Boys' Room became the New Guest Room (with walk-in closet remaining the Lego Room), which now houses only a twin bed and no longer a queen
  • the Old Girls' Room became the New Boys' Room

We were so exhausted and it was quite the added challenge that amidst having to move all this furniture and build newly purchased furniture (one bunk bed, two bookshelves, and, still to come, another bunk bed), we still had to take care of these five little blessings, feed them meals, manage naps, and so forth.

I don't create beautiful rooms: we don't have enough budget to buy all matching furniture, so furniture is a hodgepodge acquired over time of different colored woods. Nobody is going to nominate my pictures to inspire other parents with larger numbers of kids, but I'll share anyway.

The girls lost a lot of wall space for toys because their room is now the shared sewing room. Also, we have to buy a bookshelf for them, and move all the books around among the rooms.

  • Girls' books have to be moved from the old girls' room to the new girls' room.
  • Boys' books have to be moved from the old boys' room to the new boys' room.
  • Adult fiction and non-fiction books will be moved from Chris' office to the beautiful built-in bookshelves in the new guest room.

The last step will be to move all the artwork from the various rooms to the right rooms. Considering that it took me about three years to hang again the artwork after we had the rooms painted, I don't have high hopes for this last step of the project.

7. Bonus Reading

"How to Enjoy Every Moment When Not Every Moment is Enjoyable" by the Gospel-Centered Mom.

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.


  1. Merry Christmas, what a fun post! A suggestion for Thomas would be having the crib mattress on the floor and a "child proof" door knob cover on his side of the door.

  2. Room switching is a lot of work! Congratulations on surviving. :)

    Merry Christmas!